Daan Gieles

"I think the structure at Northpool is something special and it really makes me feel like part of the team"

Daan Gieles started his internship at Northpool in April 2022. He finished his bachelor in Applied Physics and is about to finish his masters in Econometrics, with the track Quantitative Finance, at TU Delft.

Where did you hear about Northpool for the first time? What made you decide to apply for an internship? 

I read about Northpool while preparing for a thesis matching event, connecting companies to students. I loved the idea of combining my background in physics with my interest in trading, and the power market seemed like a great place to look for a company to write my thesis.

How did the application process go?  

A week or two after sending my motivation letter and resume I was invited to talk with a Senior Trader. I was subsequently invited to take a calculation test and have a second conversation with two other colleagues in which some of the possibilities in terms of projects were discussed.

Can you tell us something about the content of your intership?

The UK is an interesting country in more than one way. There are currently 4 cables connecting the UK to the EU in order to allow both parties to deal with surpluses/shortages of power. In order for a party to bring power from or to the UK, it needs capacity rights. Capacity rights on these cables can be obtained on auctions for every hour of the day and I am trying to predict the market value of having capacity rights using some econometric shenanigans.

What does a day at Northpool look like for you?

As of now I am mostly working on my code at my desk, but I have lately been joining the ‘shift’ (the intraday trading floor) to learn more about how Northpool operates on the market. The shift is open so when something interesting happens in the market, I am often there to ask what happened and how the traders have reacted to the situation.

What does your guidance from Northpool look like and how do you experience this? 

While I have a single supervisor from Northpool, I can ask anyone for help if I get stuck with something which is really nice. While help is never far away, I have never been micro-managed and get a lot of freedom when it comes to my thesis

How do you combine student life and private life with your internship at Northpool? 

The energy market is open 24/7 to ensure a functioning grid and so is our trading floor. This means that the office is always open, and it allows me to be flexible when it comes to my weekly planning and writing my thesis. This way it is possible to prioritize between a social event or my study, and compensate the hours later that day or week.

As an intern, how is your contact with your colleagues at Northpool? 

After a previous internship at a large bank, I was surprised at how approachable everyone is here. I regularly play (and beat) the Senior trader with whom I had my application talk in FIFA and regularly go out for beers with my colleagues. I think the structure at Northpool is something special and it really makes me feel like part of the team!

What do you think of the company?

I am happy to be here. I enjoy the freedom of determining my approach to the problem, the flat organization structure, the steep learning curve, the compensation (which is great relative to other places) and the overall line of work. It is interesting to see the consequences that things like sunshine, demand and outages have on markets and I love it that my colleagues are always willing to explain the more complicated stuff.